‘Bike not included’: Peloton ‘wife’ in new ad selling gin for Ryan Reynolds

An actor who appeared in a widely criticized Christmas ad for the exercise bike maker Peloton has a new role – selling gin for the actor Ryan Reynolds.

The tongue-in-cheek video ad for Aviation American Gin, tweeted by Reynolds on Friday, racked up more than 4m views in its first day online.

Peloton’s Christmas advertisement, “The Gift That Gives Back”, shows the character played by Monica Ruiz receiving a Peloton bike as a gift from her husband, who is played by Sean Hunter. She records her workouts over a year and shares them with him through a video blog.

Peloton loses $1.5bn in value over ‘dystopian, sexist’ exercise bike ad

The 30-second ad sparked a storm on Twitter, with many calling it sexist. Some said the husband was “controlling” and “manipulative” for buying his wife an exercise bike and that the ad suggested he thought she needed to lose weight.

Peloton said it was disappointed some viewers had misinterpreted the commercial’s message. The company saw its share value fall almost $1.5bn (£1.1bn) amid backlash over the ad.

Ruiz did not immediately comment on the controversy but Hunter told Psychology Today “five seconds of air time” had “created an array of malicious feedback that is all associated with my face”.

“As my face continues to be screen shot online,” he said, “I wonder what repercussions will come back to me. I pride myself on being a great teacher and developing actor, and I can only hope that this affects neither.”

In her new gin ad, Ruiz is one of three women out for a holiday drink.

“You are safe here,” one friend tells her, in response to her shellshocked look. The trio toast new beginnings, the character played by Ruiz downs her drink in one, and the ad ends with a voice saying: “You look great by the way.“

Reynolds, an owner of American Aviation Gin known for his roles in Marvel Comics’ superhero Deadpool movies, told his Twitter followers: “Exercise bike not included.”

Reynolds has form in spoofing viral stories to sell his juniper-based tincture. Earlier this year, he released an ad referencing a Fyre festival producer’s notorious promise to perform oral sex on a customs official.

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